Greetings Brothers of Sigma!
With leaves beginning to change colors, with Homecoming season being here, and with students focused on their studies…Fall has definitely arrived!
In my continual commitment to keep you engaged with the inner workings of our administration, please find below insight on some of the important initiatives we’ve been working on since my last Presidential Update.
- Another Successful Congressional Black Caucus Presence
- John Lewis National DSC Reception: We sponsored Congressman John Lewis’ National Distinguished Service Chapter Reception which was attended by over 200 people; Hon. Bro. Lewis reminded the Brothers in attendance the relevance and importance of the Sigma Creed and the 12 Inch Rule
- Real Talk: Define the Conscious Servant Leader: immediately following Congressman Lewis’ Reception we had an impactful discussion around our theme “A Brotherhood of Conscious Men Actively Serving Our Communities” with an engaging panel: Hon. Bro. John Lewis, Bro. Joseph Madison, Bro. Dr. Sidney McPhee, Bro. Chris Rey and myself. The panel was moderated by Bro. Rod Carter; we streamed the panel discussion which had over 47,000 viewers in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom! We’re placing the discussion within the BluPrint for Brothers to watch on demand. We also have been invited by Bro. Madison to have the panel discussion broadcasted on his XM Radio Show to his over 3 million listeners…will advise when the broadcast will take place
- Bro. Jenabu Williams, International Director of Sigma Beta Clubs was a panelist on the
Omega Psi Phi’s Fatherhood panel discussion.
- I participated in the Council of Presidents panel sponsored by Congresswoman Marcia Fudge
- Phi Beta Sigma was the proud recipient of two awards during CBC from the March of Dimes and St. Jude Hospital
- General Board Strategic Planning Retreat…We held our General Board Strategic Planning Retreat on Howard University’s campus…we brought Past Presidents, current General Board members, Regional Directors, Vice Directors, Brothers from each Region and the International Headquarters leadership team. We had discussions around critical issues that would propel a positive trajectory for the Fraternity that are long term, measurable and sustainable…VERY PROUD of the 10 Strategic Initiatives that we will place high priority on: Brotherhood Experience, Membership Growth, Finances, Branding and Marketing, Technology, Programming, Policies and Procedures, Corporate and Government Partnerships, Fundraising and Training and Advisor Development. The Retreat was facilitated by Bro. Antonio McCoy, a certified strategic planner.
- Sigma Beta Club…Bro. Williams is currently doing an assessment of our current Sigma Beta Clubs as well as establishing some alignment around expectations. If you have a SBC, please fill out the profile forms that were recently published. It is very important we capture this information. We’re in the preliminary stage of planning a National Sigma Beta Club Conference for New Orleans. A Save the Date will be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
- International Chapter Call…I am hopeful you enjoyed the format of our first International Conference Call where I gave an overview on what’s going on within the Fraternity and where key Fraternity leaders representing their areas of operation gave you an update on the impact they’re making and we talked about Membership Growth, Branding and Sigma Beta Club. Our next call will be on Nov. 7th at 8:30pm EST where we will give an update on the Sigma Executive Leadership Council, Development Committee and the Sigma Leadership Academy.
- National Disaster Relief Fund…when the hurricanes hit in Texas, Louisiana, Florida and the Virgin Islands…through your investments, our Fraternity responded in a major way to support our Brothers that were impacted; our NDRF campaign raised $18,480 with us being able to help 33 Brothers providing $700 to each financial brother and $370 to each un-financial brother. When the Brotherhood is in NEED we felt we should HELP ALL BROTHERS!!!! I’ve asked Bro. Chris Rey, International Director of Social Action, to lead a Team that will develop some pro-active Best Practices that will support our members immediately when a disaster occurs…our goal is to shorten the lag time of delivering support. Thanks to Bro. Rey, Kniffley, Sluch, Miles Henry, Edmond, Cornelius, Hon. Peter Adams and Sam and the IHQ Team along with many chapters that did fundraising, collected essential items as a results of the devastating storms…VERY PROUD of the work Phi Beta Sigma did in supporting our communities!
- Association of Fraternity Advisors Conference…The Regional Directors, Bro. Theodore Lewis, International Director of Collegiate Affairs; Bro. Jean Lamonthe, International First Vice President; Bro. Fred Bell, International Second Vice President; Hon. Daryl Anderson, Chief of Staff; Steve Ballard and myself will be attending the AFA conference on Nov. 29th – Dec. 2nd. This will be the fourth year we’ve attended this conference; This year under the leadership of Brothers. Anderson, Busby and Matos we are planning a Sigma Take Over during AFA. Along with us planning to participate in the various workshops that are offered, we are planning to do a follow-up review from our Regional Directors Retreat to validate we’re on track in delivering the projects that were introduced during the Retreat.
- CSAF…currently the vast majority of our chapters score within the marginal category with a significant number of our chapters not doing the annual CSAF assessment. To help motivate our chapters to do the assessments as well as improve our scoring, we will introduce some incentives to help accelerate execution. It is very important that we have key insights on whether our chapters are executing the basic expectations that are mandated by the Fraternity.
- Center of Excellence in Communication… A new literary communication strategy that is managed by our IHQ Communication Team is being introduced.
- BCM…hopefully you saw the release of our new weekly newsletter…BCM: Brotherhood of Conscious Men Weekly newsletter; the weekly will continue to highlight all of the great work our chapters are doing actively serving our communities; we will also use the BCM to highlight Conscious Frat Brothers being recognized within their profession or within their community.
- Crescent: ON THE YARD…we plan to introduce this new communication vehicle targeted specifically towards our Collegians. This will be a quarterly digital newsletter that will provide collegians career advice, personal development, cultural stories, athletics, etc.
- Crescent…we’re introducing a new look to the Crescent magazine with an expectation of this magazine becoming a profit center for the Fraternity.
- Making Our Foundations Relevant…very excited about the leadership and vision that Bro. Ernie Hughes, Director of Development, is bringing towards development and fundraising to our Fraternity. I’m also very thankful for the collaboration that Hon. Peter Adams, Past President, President of DSC Chapter and President of the National Foundation, is providing Ernie…in partnership with Hon. Peter Adams and Hon. Arthur Thomas, Past President and President of the Sigma Beta Club Foundation, our goal is to structure the foundations so they can become a viable entity that supports the Fraternity being financially solvent long term. I am really excited about the work Ernie, Bro. William Frasier, International Treasurer and the Finance Team at the IHQ are doing to bring this vision to fruition. Very appreciative of the enthusiasm and trust Brothers gave us with the National Disaster Relief Fund Campaign raising almost $20,000, almost 5 times more raised for the previous disaster relief fund. The money raised was through the National Foundation!
- National Committees and Advisory Boards…As shared, we had over 400 Brothers to sign up for the various national committees and advisory boards we’ve put in place; we will release the committee assignments the week of Oct. 30th. With so many Brothers volunteering it is taking us longer to place the right people in the right role. For Brothers who don’t get on a national committee or advisory board, we will turn your name and resume over to your Regional Director asking him to utilize you for Regional Committees; we will also keep the names for future volunteer needs. THANKS to ALL who signed up!
- IED Search…the IED search committee is working through the timeline they established. I’m being advised they’ve received many applications, however I shared I will not compromise on the qualification principles I’m looking for in the next IED: Senior executive leadership experience, significant fraternity experience and an understanding/appreciation of fundraising towards the long term solvency of our Fraternity. If we have to utilize an executive search firm to find the right candidate that will serve as our IED long term, we will.
- Conclave Vegas 2019…I am planning a site visit to the Westgate Hotel on October 16th and joining me during the site visit is Jourdon Morgan, Conclave Chairman; Steve Ballard, Our Two Site Visit Winners: Jonathan Price and Christopher Marshall and Past President Mason. My goal during this site visit is to meet with the Westgate Leadership Team, share the concerns members have expressed about the property, get an assurance from the hotel leadership team on the investment they plan to make along with a timeline. On Tuesday I plan to meet with Bro. Mark Armstrong, Western Regional Director and the local Chapter to listen to their concerns and begin to move towards alignment around coordinating the largest and most successful Conclave in the history of our Fraternity. We are now beginning to start the early stages of planning the marketing, registration, sponsorship of the Conclave now. My goal is to provide a Conclave 2019 update during our Nov. 7th International Call.
- University of Memphis Greek Affairs Office Visit…during my recent visit to Memphis, I had the pleasure of visiting with the Greek Affairs office at the University of Memphis to get an update on the performance of our collegiate chapter, Delta Nu, as well as to share with them expectations we have set forth for our chapters. I am very pleased and excited to share with you I heard very positive comments about how Delta Nu is a model chapter compared to all of the other D9 organizations on U of M’s campus. My goal when my schedule can support is to visit university Greek Affairs Offices when I’m in their city for a touch point on the performance of our chapters. I’m also going to work with the Regional Director on being intentional on either they or a representative of their office visit a targeted number of their school’s Greek Affairs office over the course of the academic year to do an objective temperature check on the performance of our collegiate chapters.
- Promoted to Vice President of Operations…I’m pleased to share with you that I was recently promoted to Vice President of Operations of our Fry’s Division in Phoenix, Arizona, one of the largest divisions within our company with 123 stores and over 22,000 employees. My start date is October 23rd. Having served as a VP of Merchandising for the last two years, I’m very excited about this career opportunity as it gets me closer to my career aspiration of becoming a Division President. VERY THANKFUL for all of the love, support and TRUE BROTHERHOOD the Brothers of Epsilon Epsilon Sigma gave me and my family while we lived in Seattle…looking forward to connecting with the Brothers of Phoenix and Tucson!
- Visit Home…as Dorothy would say there’s no place like home; and she’s right, I was blessed to be home in Memphis this past weekend as Tau Iota Sigma hosted a “Presidential Reception” in my honor for the historic achievement of being elected the first International President from our Chapter! It’s always a humbling experience to be honored by those who know you best, who have watched you grow professionally, been there when you purchased your first home, witnessed the birth of your children and worked side by side with you on building our chapter and making an impact within the city of Memphis. Real reflection of Brotherhood First…Thanks Sigma Memphis for ALWAYS having my back!
“Thanks for being a Brotherhood of Conscious Men Actively Serving Our Communities”